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  1. #1
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    Metrics vs. Inches (XP)

    How can I change the unit system to have centimeters instead of inches when I change the size of a shape through the properties menu? I run a US version of Office XP.

  2. #2
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    Re: Metrics vs. Inches (XP)

    Word has a dropdown list for the measurement system to use in the General tab of Tools | Options...

    You can set the measurement system for Windows as a whole in the Number tab of the Regional Settings control panel. This will affect all applications.

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    Re: Metrics vs. Inches (XP)

    Hans,

    Thank you for your quick answer.

    Best regards,
    Marcel

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    Re: Metrics vs. Inches (XP)

    I find it a bit annoying that Word doesn't apply the setting you've chosen in Tools>Options>General everywhere.
    Often, I'd prefer to work in millimeters or centimeters, but Word will still display measurements in points in lots of places, for example in the paragraph format ("space before", "space after" ....).

    I didn't check yet if the Windows setting makes a difference (... would be very surprised if it did).

    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16> Klaus

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    Re: Metrics vs. Inches (XP)

    It probably doesn't, Klaus, because points are a measure of font size and that is what is really being applied, not a height in centimeters or inches. The points you see will probably vary based on your settings because they are calculated on a per inch or per centimeter basis.
    Charlotte

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    Re: Metrics vs. Inches (XP)

    I don't agree.
    Points are a measurement of distance, and when I need to fit a certain number of lines on a piece of paper whose height in millimeters I know, it's a nuisance that Word only shows me the line height in points.

    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16> Klaus

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    Re: Metrics vs. Inches (XP)

    All I can say is that it has been this way in word processors since long before Word. I've been converting points since WordStar back in the 70s.
    Charlotte

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    Re: Metrics vs. Inches (XP)

    Klaus,
    Points are relative, not absolute measurement. They exist on "virtual" page, without any absolute dimensions until you print it. Only on the hard copy you can attribute relative points to absolute size. Think about this: you can print one page at a sheet, two, four pages per sheet... Your pages become smaller in absolute measurements, but the text remains as it was formatted, say, Arial 10. The same how you see it at the monitor screen: you can change resolution, but it doesn't change the font size despite the text will look bigger or smaller.

  9. #9
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    Re: Metrics vs. Inches (XP)

    > I've been converting points since WordStar back in the 70s.

    Yes, but you shouldn't have to...

    The typesetting programs I use over here traditionally use millimeters only; QuarkXPress allows you to set the units for horizontal and vertical measurements in it's "Options", and then uses them everywhere.

    <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> Klaus

  10. #10
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    Re: Metrics vs. Inches (XP)

    > Points are relative, not absolute measurement.

    Again, I disagree. Points are definitely not a relative measure of size.
    Word uses PostScript points (72 points to an inch).

    What it calls "pica" (pi) is really 12 PostScript points.
    For other definitions of pica, pica points, Didot points ..., see for example this page.

    As relates to font size, the size in points traditionally refers to whole (maximum) size including ascenders and descenders (not the height of capital letters).
    Since this is a bit imprecise, different fonts can appear a bit smaller or larger at the same font size (Type three "T" in "Arial", "Times New Roman", and "Courier New", and you'll see that).

    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16> Klaus

  11. #11
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    Re: Metrics vs. Inches (XP)

    BTW, you can for example define the line spacing as "Exactly: 4 mm" in "Format > Paragraph" (by typing in "4 mm").

    Only (and this is what I was complaining about) the next time you open the dialog, this will have been converted to 11.35 pt.

    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16> Klaus

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